sum of overnight cash. >> we start in syria with renewed protests against president al assad's regime. tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets, and they were inspired by a team of observers who visited the city of homs. government tanks were seen withdrawn before the monitors arrived, but troops still clashed with protesters across the country, killing at least 15, and the violence has not stopped. were greeted by angry crowds in homs. activists of bloated this video showing residents pleading with observers while gunfire erupted in the background -- activists uploaded this video. tanks are reported to have pulled out of the city shortly before the observers are ride. a woman demanded that prisoners be released, saying six young
men disappeared on monday. with the tanks gone, the streets filled with people. the unverified footage shows protester shouting, "the people want to see your dad, -- see you dead, bashar." this man points out pools of blood from monday's attacks. homs is syria's third largest city with 1.5 million residents. they have high hopes of the observers, although the league's mission is limited. >> we are not going to offer opinions but to report information to the extent to which the syrian government has implemented its obligations. have armed personnel evacuated? has syria pave the way for mass
media to report on the ground? have prisoners and released? this is why we are going? >> it would seem few parts of the process had been met. international to analysts are still barred from the country and rely on footage posted online. no information has emerged about political prisoners being released, and there are still reports about violence against demonstrators. it is still too early to tell what, if any, effect their presence will have. >> we are joined by our middle east analyst for more information. the observers arrived in the country. what are they hoping to accomplish? >> they hope the bloodshed will stop in the near future. they have a clear message to get across to the syrian people that they are on their side, but the arab league is, of course, very ambiguous. on the one hand, they did not necessarily dislike dictators because there are too many in that club who act the same way
-- crushing revolutions or whatever uprising takes place. on the other hand, the arab league cannot accept a dictator head of state who is really fighting his own people. this is really a very delicate balance to be kept here. it remains to be seen whether the mission will be successful. at least the killing today has been stopped. >> protests are in their ninth month. is there any sign that the regime is weakening? >> not really. assad still has the support of about 50% of the country, mainly those who do not want to see the iraqi experience be repeated in syria. they stick to the president for fear of anything getting worse. on the other hand, he knows he cannot crush the protests militarily. neither side can win the war. there need to be negotiations going on between the two sides, the government and opposition.
so far, this has not happened. unfortunately, the west has decided to boycott mr. al assad, for good reasons, but then again, we cannot be in him away. he will be in syria for some time. we cannot solve the issue, politically, there will be an ongoing civil war in syria for years to come. >> there has been a lot of talk about the arab world finding solutions to its own problems. is that a possibility? >> in theory, yes, but in practice, it would be the first time in the arab league since immediately after world war ii. the arab league is too weak to immediately affect things on the ground, but it could be the first step for an international political mission to get involved in serious affairs. so far, it has not happened because neither the russians nor the chinese -- the closest allies of president al assad -- want this to happen for fear this series of false into the western field, so to speak -- for fear that syria falls into the western field.
>> israel has to step up security in a town outside jerusalem where thousands of demonstrators are gathered to protest against religious zealots. tensions have been building over the last few days as ultraorthodox jews have lobbied for gender segregation and tried to enforce strict dress codes for women and girls. speaking on israeli television, the president called intolerance from orthodox jews a threat to the image of the country. women's rights are taking center stage in egypt after a court has forbidden the use of so-called virginity tests on female prisoners. protesters appeared outside the state council to support one woman's lawsuit, demanding that the practice be banned. human rights watch says seven women were subjected to the test earlier this year. the ruling comes a week after the egyptian public was outraged by video of soldiers beating and stripping a female protester.
in russia, the growing discontent with the governor is becoming -- with the government is becoming ever clearer. tens of thousands of protesters rallied across the country on christmas eve. tuesday, finally an answer from russia's leadership. prime minister putin made his first public appearance since the demonstrations and accused protesters of trying to create chaos. >> russia's prime minister, slide by political supporters -- they at least have no doubts about russia's otherwise controversial parliamentary election. putin is back on the offensive, rejecting calls to rerun december's elections and casting aspersions on the protest movement. >> they lack a consolidated program, clear ways of achieving their goals, and people capable of doing something concrete. >> putin made his first public appearance since the weekend's mass protests, seemed undaunted by the fact that approximately 100,000 people had turned out saturday to protest the election
results. one blogger and opposition figurehead is now positining himself to challenge putin's presidential bid. >> i'm ready to fight for a position of leadership, which would include riding in the presidential elections. >> he is widely considered to be putin's only serious challenger, but he has already missed the cut off date to get on the ballot for the march presidential elections. >> monica has business news now, and a lot of money going through the eurozone, but unfortunately, in the wrong direction. banks parked several million euros. the amounts suggest that banks remain nervous about lending money to each other. >> banks that park their money with the ecb only get extremely low interest on the deposits. but they know those deposits are safe in frankfurt, and that
seems to be the priority now for banks across the eurozone. monday, they deposited nearly 412 billion euros with the ecb, the most since june 2010, and that is despite the ecb's massive three-year offering of nearly 500 million euros to lenders last week. that was its latest attempt to keep credit flowing in the 17- nation euro economy as the credit crisis drags on, but monday's record high overnight deposits shows banks still fear not getting their cash back. >> european shares held steady on tuesday in low-volume trading after strong gains last week, but the liquidity crisis is still on everyone's mind. we have this report from the frankfurt stock exchange. >> it seems absurd. the european central bank is lending billions to the banks, and the banks have nothing better to do that and at the
next moment carrying it back to the ecb. but the uncertainty, the insecurity, the mistrust is so big that the banks see no other alternative. at the moment, they fear that the euro sovereign debt crisis will sooner escalate than calm itself. not much changed this first day after the christmas holidays. people see it continuing that way until the end of the year. if it has rising potential and people see it more next year than in his last few days this year. adidas, the sports article manufacturer, very confident on the future that the share unimpressed, unchanged. >> let's have a closer look at some market numbers beginning in frankfurt were germany's blue- chip dax closed the session slightly in positive territory. euro stocks 50 closed flat at 5290. the dow jones industrials up by
.5%. the euro is trading at $1.366. china says it will cut red export quotas by 26% in the first half of next year. they try to shore up sagging prices for exotic metals used in mobile phones and other high- tech goods. the slowing global economy and high prices have curtailed demand from japan, europe, and the u.s. china accounts for some 90% of the world's rare earth output and says the full year quota will remain roughly stable in 2012. many german companies have had a boom year, but next year, growth rates will likely decrease. this is because most customers for german companies are abroad where the debt crisis has hit much harder than at home. the advisory council of the federal government says germany is not threatened by recession. >> germany's economy remains robust, and there are some good reasons to expect that situation
will not change any time soon. reason one -- a stable labor market. companies are still benefiting from years of anemic wage growth in the country. unlike other european economies, wages grew negligently in germany until last year, which has opened up competitive advantages against other countries, while having the additional effect of keeping a lid on unemployment. recent two -- companies are solvent. many german corporations have been reporting record profits, whether it is chemicals giant basf, henkel, or the car makers. all have the burning prodigiously. because they cut costs during the financial crisis, today, they are awash in liquidity. the 30 companies on the dax have amassed nearly 150 billion euros in reserves. finally, interest rates remain low. it is market environments,
germany retains its status as a trustworthy debtor. as a result, the governor -- the government, germany-based banks, and citizens can refinance at rock-bottom interest rates on like their counterparts in eurozone for free countries caught up in the crisis -- periphery countries, the crisis. if growth rates in the emerging markets begin to weaken, 2012 may not be as easy for industry here as 2011 was. >> the founder of the world's biggest mail-order retailer has died in berlin, aged 102. he launched his company more than 60 years ago. today, the group is a global corporation with 50,000 employees. besides real estate interests, it owns u.s. furniture and retail chain creighton barrel creightoncrate and -- crate and barrel. he was with his family when he
died shortly before christmas. >> shortly before his 100th birthday, he was made an honorary citizen of berlin. he spent his final years in the capital, but his german success story began in the northern city of hamburg. he established the mail-order service that bore his name in 1949. in this postwar years, the main focus of the business was on issues, at least until the day someone offered him trousers from military surplus stocks. that was the game changer for otto. >> it was a breakthrough. those pants sold like hot cakes. >> the otto catalog became a mainstay of german life, generating billions in sales, but the entrepreneur sought more challenges. otto's foundation's promote medical research for children
with cancer. werner otto's life philosophy was pragmatism. >> everything is in flux, and i have to know what will crop up tomorrow. otto was an entrepreneur with a sharp shall show awareness who helped shape germany's economy -- with a sharp social awareness. the global hacker seen talking about a major attack on stratford. the company's website an e-mail service work infiltrating, and a loose affiliation of hackers call anonymous has claimed responsibility appeared in berlin, at the chaos club, there are mixed feelings about the raid. >> at the chaos computer club's annual congress, topics like data security and freedom of information are serious, but the atmosphere is relaxed. most disapprove of the recent large-scale attack on the u.s. firm. >> the computer club has a clear
ethical guidelines. public data should be used and private data should be protected. that means we are critical of this action. of course, there are also likely to be some sympathies. money was redistributing, and no one made a personal gain. still, the action remains fairly easily -- daisy. >> initially, the packers had -- initially, the hackers had identified themselves as online group anonymous, but some have distanced themselves from the attack. it is argued that it could have some positive now, a tax -- effects. >> much of what they do is criminal, but i think there is much good coming out of the attacks because people are beginning to think about security much more seriously. >> a bitter necessity, say the net activists, who point to
>> welcome back. as 2011 draws to a close, we look back at the events that moved the world this year. the euro debt crisis has dominated headlines, and european leaders are still scrambling to save the common currency. greece was at the forefront of the crisis, on the brink of bankruptcy. athens was forced to implement painful austerity measures in return for bailout funds, but the cuts did not go over well at home. greeks fought back with mass protests and strikes. many of them believe the country's working class is bearing the brunt of the pain.
>> until recently, this farm was being turned into a recreation park, and he had what he considered the perfect job. trained as an automobile mechanic, he was responsible for the farm's vehicles. it was interesting and something different, but this summer, that dream fell apart. >> the owner had a good business idea and got lots of people working on it. but after one and a half months, reality caught up with him. because of the crisis, we did not have any guests, and he had to let almost everyone ago. 80% of the work force, including me. >> making ends meet is becoming ever more difficult in athens, as in the rest of greece. he does not get any support and his wife works long hours as a cashier while he stays home and
takes care of their daughter and the household. his parents help the young family get by. it is an unfamiliar role for him. >> some time ago, everything changed. now it is the woman who works and brings in the money and decides what the money will be spent on. i have to do more work around the house. >> the shopping streets in athens are unusually quiet these days. many greeks are keeping their purse strings tightly closed and buying only what is necessary. many of his friends are also out of work, but they have faith that increase will turn the corner somehow. >> agrees always was and always will be -- greece always was and
always will be because people believe in the country. there are lots of examples. >> but that faith in his country does not extend to the government. like most greeks, he does not believe the government's promises. >> it was a revolutionary year across the arab world from tunisia to libya. people in the region fought for freedom and a democratic future, and the world watched in amazement. three governments have fallen during the arab sprain revolution so far, including in egypt. a group of young rappers took part in protests to topple president mubarak. are proud to have been part of their country's historic change. -- during the era of spring -- during the arab spring. >> this song has become a hit
among many egyptians. edgy performed in tahrir square before mubarak was ousted. >> i was hardly afraid during the protests. when someone went down, there were 30 who stepped up and took his place while 30 others help the fallen -- helped the fallen. i believe we saw the spirit of egypt that we want in the future. >> they never would do demonstrations before the revolution. they were students. their music was not political. they felt powerless against the mubarak regime. that would change once the protests on tahrir square started. >> when i come back here, i see everyone is determined to make that dream a reality, even if
people have to die or get beaten or arrested. >> euphoria from the beginning has given way to disappointment. people are frustrated because they believe the old regime supporters are still in charge and the military of uses the power it has. >> we demand that the military council passes power to a civilian government. the military is against us. our most important demand is that they step aside. >> the young musicians have not told their parents about their activities to keep them from worrying. this evening, they come to their regular club to perform a new song, which takes state television to task for trying to discredit the demonstrations. the song gets an enthusiastic reception. >> i know now that i am being heard. what i see now gives me a voice. the revolution gives me confidence. >> next month, the band hopes to
record its first album. they have not finished all their songs, but with what is going on in egypt these days, there is no shortage of subjects to write about. >> some of the most powerful images of the year came from japan. on march 11, the country was hit with a triple disaster -- a major earthquake followed by a tsunami, which led to a nuclear meltdown, the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years. this week, the japanese government admitted there were serious errors in dealing with the meltdown and radiation leaks. we met up with a fashion designer just outside the nuclear plant. >> stage by stage, her newest collection is taking shape. the fashion designer has just one week to go until his designs have to be finished. >> since the 11th of march and
fukushima, i have been asking myself what i can do as a fashion designer. i want my work to help the people who went through this disaster. i want to give them hope and showed that the future still has great beauty to offer. >> like many japanese, he is a refugee in his own country. he took part in major fashion shows in paris and hawaii, but his home is in a city about 40 kilometers south of the fukushima power plant. he left after the disaster, but his family still live there. >> many japanese people look at the catastrophe as if it does not involve them. that worries me. each of us should think about what is happening there, about how dangerous the radioactivity can be. stoicism has long been a very japanese quality, but now, it is time to speak out. >> with his designs, he tries to counter the sense of loss,
homeland, security, prosperity triggered by the events of fukushima. he is interested in the beauty of life, japanese colors -- red and white with lots of fur and leather. he looks to nature for inspiration and for the materials he uses. >> everything i do comes from nature. nature is so full of energy. i want this to be part of my designs. >> the disasters of march 11 have changed him forever, but they also gave him a vision for his future. >> from the european debt crisis to the arab spring revolution and the disaster in japan, major events and how they shaped lives in 2011. that was the focus of our "in